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"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most memorable short stories. The protagonist, Benjamin Button, is born an old man and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby and then finally vanishes from the earth. In a short introduction to the story, Fitzgerald wrote: "This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most memorable short stories. The protagonist, Benjamin Button, is born an old man and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby and then finally vanishes from the earth. In a short introduction to the story, Fitzgerald wrote: "This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. By trying the experiment upon only one man in a perfectly normal world I have scarcely given his idea a fair trial. Several weeks after completing it, I discovered an almost identical plot in Samuel Butler's 'Note-books.'" The title story was the inspiration for the MAJOR MOTION PICTURE of the same name and remains one of Fitzgerald's most haunting and beautiful tales. Fitzgerald's talent for short fiction is on display in this selection of four of his finest tales, chosen from two collections: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). In addition to the title story are "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," a coming-of-age story about a daring young flapper; "The Jelly-Bean," a story of disillusionment and love lost; and "Dalyrimple Goes Wrong," a case of a character torn between self and society.


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"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most memorable short stories. The protagonist, Benjamin Button, is born an old man and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby and then finally vanishes from the earth. In a short introduction to the story, Fitzgerald wrote: "This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most memorable short stories. The protagonist, Benjamin Button, is born an old man and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby and then finally vanishes from the earth. In a short introduction to the story, Fitzgerald wrote: "This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain's to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. By trying the experiment upon only one man in a perfectly normal world I have scarcely given his idea a fair trial. Several weeks after completing it, I discovered an almost identical plot in Samuel Butler's 'Note-books.'" The title story was the inspiration for the MAJOR MOTION PICTURE of the same name and remains one of Fitzgerald's most haunting and beautiful tales. Fitzgerald's talent for short fiction is on display in this selection of four of his finest tales, chosen from two collections: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). In addition to the title story are "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," a coming-of-age story about a daring young flapper; "The Jelly-Bean," a story of disillusionment and love lost; and "Dalyrimple Goes Wrong," a case of a character torn between self and society.

30 review for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    If you read this backwards it totally makes sense!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ilse

    The curious case of Benjamin Button, as a slightly melancholic and in its absurdity somewhat humorous, surreal tale on time and (non) conformism, could in a sense be read as a satirical allegory on ageism avant la lettre. (Or maybe I did so). “You're just the romantic age," she continued — "fifty. Twenty-five is too wordly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell; sixty is—oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow The curious case of Benjamin Button, as a slightly melancholic and in its absurdity somewhat humorous, surreal tale on time and (non) conformism, could in a sense be read as a satirical allegory on ageism avant la lettre. (Or maybe I did so). “You're just the romantic age," she continued — "fifty. Twenty-five is too wordly-wise; thirty is apt to be pale from overwork; forty is the age of long stories that take a whole cigar to tell; sixty is—oh, sixty is too near seventy; but fifty is the mellow age. I love fifty." To everything there is a season. But as no man is an island, others might have fixed or preconceived ideas on what might be the appointed or appropriate time for certain life events happening to us and how we should be and behave at specific moments in life, even if the desirable behaviour or bringing about such events is beyond our control and we are helpless and unable to change so we fit into the frame of normality or in the plans of our relatives or larger society. Why be happy when you could be normal? If we have to live on someone else’s terms, societal norms and standards might collide with our identity and condition and cause friction and chasm even with our near and dear when they cannot accept we digress. In presenting Benjamin Button’s case, depicting the insensitive and petty responses of both outsiders as well as Benjamin’s father, wife and son on Benjamin’s various stages of life and development, Fitzgerald caustically shows how deviance meets with shame, irritation, rejection, ridicule, shock and denial. Our loved ones are not always willing nor able to transcend their own frame of reference in perceiving and accepting us as we really are, even if this might make us thoroughly unhappy. She sniffed again. "The idea," she said, and after a moment: "I should think you'd have enough pride to stop it." "How can I?" he demanded. "I'm not going to argue with you," she retorted. "But there's a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you've made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don't suppose I can stop you, but I really don't think it's very considerate." "But, Hildegarde, I can't help it." "You can too. You're simply stubborn. You think you don't want to be like anyone else. You always have been that way, and you always will be. But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as you do — what would the world be like?" (© Postertext) Of thoughtful satire and social criticism one can expect it speaks for itself. I wasn’t particularly taken with the story, nor did I find any specifically enlightening insights on age or aging in it, but ostensibly such didn’t seem the purpose of the story. The prose however, on the moments it quits the more outspoken satirical register, flows delicately and lyrically, movingly mellowing nearing the ending while Benjamin reaches the innocent sweetness of infancy, soothing like a lullaby. “And when the long day was done at five o'clock he would go up-stairs with Nana and be fed oatmeal and nice soft mushy foods with a spoon. There were no troublesome memories in his childish sleep; no token came to him of his brave days at college, of the glittering years when he flustered the hearts of many girls. There were only the white, safe walls of his crib and Nana and a man who came to see him sometimes, and a great big orange ball that Nana pointed at just before his twilight bed hour and called "sun." When the sun went his eyes were sleepy—there were no dreams, no dreams to haunt him.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    “Der seltsame Fall des Benjamin Button“ is a short story, which can be read very quickly because it only has 66 pages. This story is very captivating and emotional. The novel is based on a mixture of weird tragedy and comedy. The destiny of this odd person in combination with Fitzgerald’s writing style and language could fascinate me simply.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the short story selection in the group catching up on classics for May 2017. This story was first published in Colliers Magazine in 1922 and describes Fitzgerald's views on aging in satirical form. While ageism has become a timely topic today, Fitzgerald first grappled with the issue nearly one hundred years ago. Benjamin Button was "born" to Mr and Mrs Roger Button in 1860. In the place of the bundle of joy the Buttons expected, they The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the short story selection in the group catching up on classics for May 2017. This story was first published in Colliers Magazine in 1922 and describes Fitzgerald's views on aging in satirical form. While ageism has become a timely topic today, Fitzgerald first grappled with the issue nearly one hundred years ago. Benjamin Button was "born" to Mr and Mrs Roger Button in 1860. In the place of the bundle of joy the Buttons expected, they received a seventy year old man. Prominent members of society, the Buttons fear that they will be the scandal of their town, and attempt to shield their son from all but select relatives. Lucky for the senior Buttons, the Civil War breaks out, turning attention to more serious matters. A most remarkable thing occur: Benjamin ages backward. He goes from a feeble contemporary of his grandfather to a younger man in the prime of his life and eventually becomes a hero of the Spanish American War and then a football hero at Harvard College. As he reverse ages, Button has a wealth of knowledge and ideas to share with the modernizing world because he already experienced life as an older citizen. Fitzgerald, through Button, reveals that age is but a number or perception, and goes against the common societal beliefs of how to treat both older citizens and children. Even though I generally do not read satires or usually do not appreciate the wit, I enjoyed Fitzgerald's views on age and aging. Knowledge comes with age yet usually the most senior members of society with the most wisdom to share are treated like mere children. I just completed a contemporary book in which an octogenarian woman faces these same issues. Fitzgerald tackled the question of age nearly one hundred years ago, and, yet, society still does not always appreciate the elderly and children as intelligent individuals. I probably would not have tackled this story if it was not a selection in one of my groups. Yet it conveniently fits nicely with the novel I have just completed, and even matches its wit. Benjamin Button may not be the most timeless classic, but its message still resonates, and I look forward to the discussions ahead. 3.5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Goodreads is serendipitous! I have been planning to read this for a long time, but somehow kept on putting it off. I suddenly came across Fatty Bolger's review in my feed. It was during my lunch hour, so I Googled for a free version online, found it, and read it. Surprisingly, I liked the story a lot better than I was expecting to. Unlike the movie, which has a heavy dose of pathos, the story is an out-and-out fantasy based on an outlandish premise: what would happen if one aged in reverse? This Goodreads is serendipitous! I have been planning to read this for a long time, but somehow kept on putting it off. I suddenly came across Fatty Bolger's review in my feed. It was during my lunch hour, so I Googled for a free version online, found it, and read it. Surprisingly, I liked the story a lot better than I was expecting to. Unlike the movie, which has a heavy dose of pathos, the story is an out-and-out fantasy based on an outlandish premise: what would happen if one aged in reverse? This is a time machine applicable only to anatomy; the person moves forward in time. Fitzgerald has explored all the absurd possibilities of such a wild scenario, including two grandfather-grandson interactions at the same biological age level - Benjamin the "infant" and his seventy year-old grandpa, and the "65-year old" Grandpa Benjamin and his five-year-old grandson. The most interesting thing about the story is that Benjamin, in his regressive trip through life, gets to interact with his grandfather, father, son and grandson as peers. A weird little story, hilarious and melancholic by turns - right up my alley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in Collier's Magazine on May 27, 1922. It was subsequently anthologized in his book Tales of the Jazz Age, which is occasionally published as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories. In 1860 Baltimore, Benjamin is born with the physical appearance of a 70-year-old man, already capable of speech. His father Roger invite The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. First published in Collier's Magazine on May 27, 1922. It was subsequently anthologized in his book Tales of the Jazz Age, which is occasionally published as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories. In 1860 Baltimore, Benjamin is born with the physical appearance of a 70-year-old man, already capable of speech. His father Roger invites neighborhood boys to play with him and orders him to play with children's toys, but Benjamin obeys only to please his father. At five, Benjamin is sent to kindergarten but is quickly withdrawn after he repeatedly falls asleep during child activities. عنوانها: «ماجرای مرموز بنجامین باتن»؛ «بنجامین باتن موردی استثنایی»؛ «ماجرای عجیب بنجامین باتن»؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه فوریه سال 2011میلادی عنوان: ماجرای مرموز بنجامین باتن؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ مترجم پدرام عبهر؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1389، در 80ص؛ شابک 9786005816006؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 20م عنوان: بنجامین باتن موردی استثنایی؛ نویسنده فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)؛ مترجم مرضیه فولادی؛ تهران، نیک مهر، 1395، در 54ص؛ شابک 9786008287322؛ عنوان: ماجرای عجیب بنجامین باتن و داستانهای دیگر؛ نویسنده: فرانسیس اسکات فیتس جرالد (فیتزجرالد)، و دیگران؛ مترجم فرشید عطایی؛ تهران، آموت، 1389، در 205ص؛ شابک 9786005941777؛ نقل نمونه متن: چشمان آقای باتن انگشت اشاره‌ ی پرستار را دنبال کرد؛ و آنچه که دید این بود. پیچیده در پتویی بزرگ و سفید، پیرمردی که آشکارا حدود هفتاد سال را داشت در یکی از تخت‌های نوزاد، که به سختی در آنجا داده شده بود، نشسته بود. موی کم پشتش تقریبا سفید بود و از چانه‌‌ اش ریش بلند دودی رنگی آویزان بود، که در نسیمی که از پنجره به درون می‌وزید به طرز مضحکی تکان می‌خورد. پیرمرد سرش را بالا آورد و با چشمانی کم‌سو و کم‌رمق که در آن سوالی بغرنج موج می‌زد به آقای باتن نگاه کرد. آقای باتن، که وحشتش به خشم تبدیل شده بود، غرید: «آیا من دیوانه شده‌ ام؟ یا این شوخی مزخرف بیمارستانی است؟»ا. پایان نقل از متن تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the distracted librarian)

    I found this short story quite sad, honestly. The fading of memories into oblivion reminded me too well of old age and the forgotten nostalgias of vibrant youth. Although I'm fairly young, I find the prospect of aging-associated diseases disheartening. The relaying of an entire life into such a short book had me contemplating those difficult questions we all are familiar with. This book was actually fun to read, though. The dry, satirical, highbrow humor balances out the depressing aspects which I found this short story quite sad, honestly. The fading of memories into oblivion reminded me too well of old age and the forgotten nostalgias of vibrant youth. Although I'm fairly young, I find the prospect of aging-associated diseases disheartening. The relaying of an entire life into such a short book had me contemplating those difficult questions we all are familiar with. This book was actually fun to read, though. The dry, satirical, highbrow humor balances out the depressing aspects which had me laughing throughout. I would recommend this short story to anyone who wants a quick, snapshot reminder of the value of life and it's many quirks.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a strange little fantasy about a baby born in 1860, who appears to be a withered decrepit old man. He goes on to live his life in reverse, doing all the normal things - running a business, marrying and having children, going to war, attending school and college, and ending up in kindergarten and under the care of a nurse. It was written by Scott Fitzgerald in 1922. Clearly it is a social satire. In his introduction, Fitzgerald says that he came across a sim The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a strange little fantasy about a baby born in 1860, who appears to be a withered decrepit old man. He goes on to live his life in reverse, doing all the normal things - running a business, marrying and having children, going to war, attending school and college, and ending up in kindergarten and under the care of a nurse. It was written by Scott Fitzgerald in 1922. Clearly it is a social satire. In his introduction, Fitzgerald says that he came across a similar plot in Samuel Butler's notebooks - but several weeks after the publication of his own story. That led me to wondering what the influences of this story had been. It reminded me of Martin Amis's "Time's Arrow", or "The Confessions of Max Tivoli", but these are much more modern works. Thematically there are similarities with "The Time Traveller's Wife" and "Slaughterhouse 5", but even "Slaughterhouse 5" dates from 1969. The idea of a person displaced in time is, of course, a staple of SF, but this is Scott Fitzgerald we are talking about here, the author who exemplified the Jazz Age. It is hardly his typical fare. So maybe the roots of this story lie in Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in Arthur's Court" of 1889; another humorous satire. But that is more of a burlesque, and as in the second two examples, the main character does not himself reverse his age. Fitzgerald thought this was "the funniest story ever written." That is highly debatable. But the message of the story is that age is more than just a number. Not only does it dictate our physical condition, but our personality and character traits as well. Benjamin Button is constantly unhappy and frustrated in his life as he has to pretend he is a chronological age which he does not feel. When he looks old, he wants to sit around and chat with other old men; when young he is happy to sit and play with strips of coloured paper. Somewhere in the middle of course he appears "normal" with the normal interests and tastes of a man of his apparent age. Age plays a big part in our identity. We all change as we get older, but maybe the message of this story is the popular saying that "You are as young as you feel."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    First of all, how is there an entire movie here? Yeah, yeah, it would probably be best to come back to that. My overall vote is "meh?" From a clunky start, this short story waxes and wanes in a similar fashion to its title character. All that I could think while reading the first two sections was how Fitzgerald's dialogue and descriptions of character behavior were the literary equivalent of cutting paper dolls out of vellum and proclaiming them to be sentient creatures. Along with being generall First of all, how is there an entire movie here? Yeah, yeah, it would probably be best to come back to that. My overall vote is "meh?" From a clunky start, this short story waxes and wanes in a similar fashion to its title character. All that I could think while reading the first two sections was how Fitzgerald's dialogue and descriptions of character behavior were the literary equivalent of cutting paper dolls out of vellum and proclaiming them to be sentient creatures. Along with being generally flimsy prototypes for Dad, Mom, Doctor, Nurse, etc, each one of the figures in the story spoke as if they were awkward, bratty kids acting in a grade school stage play. Example from when Señor Button the First arrives at the hospital expecting to greet his newborn child (who is actually, as you surely know, a crotchety old man): "What's the matter?" demanded Mr. Button appalled. "Triplets?" "No, not triplets!" answered the doctor cuttingly. "What's more, you can go and see for yourself. And get another doctor. I brought you into the world, young man, and I've been physician to your family for forty years, but I'm through with you! I don't want to see you or any of your relatives ever again! Good-bye!" Geesh, calm down, princess. And here I thought I was addicted to exclamation points like my keyboard pumps helium through my fingertips directly up to my brain. Fortunately, the "pre-teen equivalent to daytime soap opera" dialogue eases up as you move along with the story. The soapy behavior, however, continues: In the upper hall he addressed another nurse who approached him, basin in hand. "I'm Mr. Button," he managed to articulate. "I want to see my..." Clank! The basin clattered to the floor and rolled in the direction of the stairs. Clank! Clank! This is just one example, but YES, I am definitely nitpicking. However, have you ever seen the film Wet Hot American Summer? It cleverly addresses this irritating habit of bad movies, bad television shows, and (in this case) bad, bad writing: the tendency to have people convey the complex and often disparate emotions of astonishment, anger, and terror simply by dropping whatever they are holding (with overly high-pitched, generic sound effects included). In W.H.A.S., every time a character throws something in frustration or shock, the same stock track of breaking glass is played regardless of what material the projectile is composed of. This happens something to the tune of a 10-ish times in the movie, and it is increasingly hilarious. In Benjamin Button, however, it is just another example of some of the slovenly writing contained therein. As you move on, the story becomes more engaging. I don't know if it is necessarily better written in parts, or if the plot itself simply distracted me from otherwise weak wordplay. All the same, as the character hits his physical thirties and begins losing his passion and feelings of connection to his lethargic, 50's-ish wife, you feel for him a bit. As he regresses further and further back toward the womb, losing the respect of his community and even his ungrateful dickwad of a son, you feel for him a bit more. And so on and and so on. In fact, the sections dealing with Benjamin's adult child's frustration with his increasingly infantile father were pretty emotionally charged. It seemed a fitting metaphor for the way that many adults tend to eventually see their aging parents as burdens rather than role models and givers of life. It invokes the reader's sympathies for those poor, loony old folks dumped into nursing homes and abandoned by their kin to rot in the diapers that life tends to cycle us back into. Sad, sad stuff. All in all, Benjamin Button is an interesting story with somewhat poor execution. It is pretty watery, and considering that it is so short, I'd argue that sloppy writing is kind of inexcusable. Also, there is a point near the end where my interest dropped off pretty sharply, as I felt fairly certain that I knew exactly what was coming. By the end, the story had once again become about as fascinating as some stranger's drooling baby. So, again: how is there a movie here? Oh, and why have I never seen it? There are so many things about it for which I have positive associations: Cate Blanchett, David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Fitzgerald. For some reason, though, I just never got around to it, and am even less interested now. Would you care to change my mind?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Em Lost In Books

    What a little weird tale.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    Most everyone knows the premise of this story; a man is born old, already smart and wise, and as he "ages" he becomes younger in body and mind. It makes me think of another saying, "you are who you are", but actually, throughout your life, you are a different person at different times. You look different, you act different, you think different, you are perceived different during the various stages of your life. I've read most of what Fitzgerald wrote and I think this is one of his best stories. Most everyone knows the premise of this story; a man is born old, already smart and wise, and as he "ages" he becomes younger in body and mind. It makes me think of another saying, "you are who you are", but actually, throughout your life, you are a different person at different times. You look different, you act different, you think different, you are perceived different during the various stages of your life. I've read most of what Fitzgerald wrote and I think this is one of his best stories. It certainly has a different feel to it than the others.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    Y’all know what this is about. Now take a look at this quote: I’m not going to argue with you. But there’s a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you’ve made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don’t suppose I can stop you, but I really don’t think it’s very considerate. [...] You’re simply stubborn. You think you don’t want to be like anyone else. You always have been that way, and you always will be. But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as y Y’all know what this is about. Now take a look at this quote: I’m not going to argue with you. But there’s a right way of doing things and a wrong way. If you’ve made up your mind to be different from everybody else, I don’t suppose I can stop you, but I really don’t think it’s very considerate. [...] You’re simply stubborn. You think you don’t want to be like anyone else. You always have been that way, and you always will be. But just think how it would be if everyone else looked at things as you do – what would the world be like? Basically: ‘Why can’t you just be like everyone else?’ ‘I can’t, I was born this way, I can’t change it.’ ‘Yes you can. You just have to try. You just have to deciiide to be normal.’ And I was like: Conclusion: choose your partner wisely.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Inder Suri

    I have never read anything like this before. When you pick up a book and you know that it is more a short-story than a novel, it's obvious you can't expect much from the book. It will either be a short tale telling you something related to a significant subject and maximum it can do is to give you a heartwarming and a satisfying ending. But this book was something more. It was different. Yes, like many others, I already knew those two words very strongly related to this book i.e, "Aging Backwards" I have never read anything like this before. When you pick up a book and you know that it is more a short-story than a novel, it's obvious you can't expect much from the book. It will either be a short tale telling you something related to a significant subject and maximum it can do is to give you a heartwarming and a satisfying ending. But this book was something more. It was different. Yes, like many others, I already knew those two words very strongly related to this book i.e, "Aging Backwards". I also knew about the movie extracted from this book starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Fincher. And, even after being a fan of both these personalities,I am glad I haven't watched it yet. Reading this book was a sheer pleasure. You pick up this thin book and keep it down only after you are done with it. It does not teach you anything nor does it give you any satisfaction. But, It tells you a story, a story which is very anomalous and different. Many a times we have some strange and absurd ideas and all we do is think about it and try to laugh it off. But here Mr F.Scott Fitzgerald presented a similar kind of an idea but in form of a beautiful story. I am really glad I read it and I know this will stay with me for sometime. And I am going to watch the movie very soon and I know I will like it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨

    ★★★★★★★★★☆[9/10] ❓If you happen to meet your kids and grandkids on your way down to childhood, will they regard you as their peer or their nemesis? ❓Will they embrace you with arms wide open or regard you with vitriolic contempt? ❓Will you still love your wife's wrinked skin and mellow body or will she cease to interest you as you seek the company of prettier, younger women? ❓Would you want to unlearn everything as you age(or un-age) without even a faint memory of ever having accomplished wonderf ★★★★★★★★★☆[9/10] ❓If you happen to meet your kids and grandkids on your way down to childhood, will they regard you as their peer or their nemesis? ❓Will they embrace you with arms wide open or regard you with vitriolic contempt? ❓Will you still love your wife's wrinked skin and mellow body or will she cease to interest you as you seek the company of prettier, younger women? ❓Would you want to unlearn everything as you age(or un-age) without even a faint memory of ever having accomplished wonderful feats? (No, not anything like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, in case you're wondering) ❓Would you rather die in your crib after having lived a peculiarly curious life of 70 years and be hailed "the oldman who died a baby"? I believed all through my childhood that Brad Pitt was The Benjamin Button. I see now what all the exaltation is about. You can ruminate over all these out-of-the-world, outlandish schemes over your coffee break. Oh, if you ever wonder where entropy fits in the equation, you will be a goner. Otherwise, you would have had one of those enlightening, illuminating coffee breaks of a lifetime. Oh, and don't forget your coffee. Drink it before it goes back to being just coffee beans and milk and sugar.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I’ve seen the movie (twice), and I’ve been looking forward to reading the short story that the movie is based for a while now. The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has very little in common with the book. The name is the same, and the core is the same, Benjamin Button is born old and as he grows older he grows younger both in the book and the movie. But in the book, he is raised by his father and not abandon at birth. And all the rest of the book differs also from the movie. I liked the I’ve seen the movie (twice), and I’ve been looking forward to reading the short story that the movie is based for a while now. The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has very little in common with the book. The name is the same, and the core is the same, Benjamin Button is born old and as he grows older he grows younger both in the book and the movie. But in the book, he is raised by his father and not abandon at birth. And all the rest of the book differs also from the movie. I liked the story, first I couldn’t help at first to compare the story with the movie and feel that the story was lacking everything the movie had, but soon I was sucked into the story and I’m glad it was different since it's more fun reading something that not exactly like the movie. It’s a bittersweet story and in a way, a cruel story since Benjamin during all his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The story is set during the latter half of the 19th century but it could as well be taking place now a day since being different is something that is always going to be met with ignorance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -Søren Kirkegaard This wonderful short story blurs a lot of lines. It's definitely a satire about aging and how it affects one's position in society, but it's also unequivocally a bittersweet tragedy. A whimsical odyssey in reverse, a story of falling in and out of love, a rumination on memory, a chronicle of one odd branch of a family tree. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button truly is all of these things, but first and forem "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -Søren Kirkegaard This wonderful short story blurs a lot of lines. It's definitely a satire about aging and how it affects one's position in society, but it's also unequivocally a bittersweet tragedy. A whimsical odyssey in reverse, a story of falling in and out of love, a rumination on memory, a chronicle of one odd branch of a family tree. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button truly is all of these things, but first and foremost it is the beautifully sad chronicle of a life lived backwards, of seldom being in the right time, of knowing that the years ahead of you don't hold canes and and greying hair, but swaddles and cribs. Fitzgerald's writing is great here- sparkling and effervescent when it should be, wracked with Benjamin's frustrations and joys in the right spots, all while retaining the nostalgic tone. This story is very much like the faded and yellowing pages of a worn book coming to a close, the cover closed softly and placed upon a high shelf to gather the dust of time. I'll leave you with this quote, and as always you can read the story here. The past- the wild charge at the head of his men up San Juan Hill; the first years of his marriage when he worked late into the summer dusk down in the busy city for young Hildegarde whom he loved; the days before that when he sat smoking far into the night in the gloomy old Button house on Monroe Street with his grandfather- all these had faded like unsubstantial dreams from his mind as though they had never been. He did not remember.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Yay! I finally completed my first audiobook. This isn't exactly a great feat seeing as this story is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it was the perfect length for my walk and recent time constraints. This was such a pleasurable read and worthy of the short amount of time needed to complete. This story is quite different from the movie, but I found it preferable. Even though I am more of a visual learner, the audio version gave me a chance to truly appreciate the writing skills of Fitzgerald Yay! I finally completed my first audiobook. This isn't exactly a great feat seeing as this story is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it was the perfect length for my walk and recent time constraints. This was such a pleasurable read and worthy of the short amount of time needed to complete. This story is quite different from the movie, but I found it preferable. Even though I am more of a visual learner, the audio version gave me a chance to truly appreciate the writing skills of Fitzgerald and his impressive vocabulary upon hearing it spoken. Benjamin Button was born in 1860 in Maryland. When he is born, he is a wrinkled and bearded 70 year-old man, approximately 5'8" and fully capable of speaking and walking. His father is ashamed and the family situation is difficult at first. However, as the years pass, Benjamin's body and mind "age" in reverse. Fitzgerald imbues this story with humor and masterfully examines the concept of aging. At times the story is sad, especially considering Benjamin's early relationship with his father and his relationship with his own son as he descends into adolescence and childhood. I highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Britany

    For some crazy reason, I had no idea that this was a short story written by F Scott Fitzgerald. I had seen the movie years ago and never read the book (The horror! I know...). You can easily read this in one sitting at less than 70 pages. I wish that the book was structured so that we got to see Benjamin's whole life and the difficulty he faced as he aged in reverse. Most of the book is spent on the first few years of his life, and then quickly works backwards. This concept is unbelievably intere For some crazy reason, I had no idea that this was a short story written by F Scott Fitzgerald. I had seen the movie years ago and never read the book (The horror! I know...). You can easily read this in one sitting at less than 70 pages. I wish that the book was structured so that we got to see Benjamin's whole life and the difficulty he faced as he aged in reverse. Most of the book is spent on the first few years of his life, and then quickly works backwards. This concept is unbelievably interesting and unique considering the time frame when it was written. I appreciated Fitzgerald's writing and imagination for his one. Would recommend this short book, especially if you can appreciate a good story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    ...did I somehow miss the entire point of this story? Or does it just not have one? This short-story focuses on Benjamin Button, who in a 'curious' turn of events, is born an elderly man and ages in reverse. As the story takes us through his life, we see how age really determines our circumstances. But the story rambles around, filled with clumsy logistical issues (what happens to Benjamin's mother? Why is she never mentioned at all? How did she give birth to a 70 year old man without dying??) a ...did I somehow miss the entire point of this story? Or does it just not have one? This short-story focuses on Benjamin Button, who in a 'curious' turn of events, is born an elderly man and ages in reverse. As the story takes us through his life, we see how age really determines our circumstances. But the story rambles around, filled with clumsy logistical issues (what happens to Benjamin's mother? Why is she never mentioned at all? How did she give birth to a 70 year old man without dying??) and characters who drop out of the story without warning. There's very little actual characterization as everyone shuffles around, and even Benjamin seems wooden. His circumstances were truly the only interesting thing about him, and he's never explored any deeper. All of the side characters react to Benjamin's aging in the weirdest ways. Several characters yell at him and insist his aging is somehow his own fault. Others want him to act his 'age,' even buying him children's toys when he'd rather read. Overall, there's something profoundly disturbing about a newborn with arthritis and a beard, who can address his father by name-- but that's all I really took away from this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Had I read this without knowing it's writer, would more than likely be thinking along the lines of Franz Kafka, where an absurd conceit is established at the outset, but spun in a way making it have the feel of realism. I still wasn't sure when reading for the first time whether to laugh or cry, as it waspreposterously ridiculous, but also humanistically sad. The fact of trying to squeeze the whole life of Benjamin Button into a short story didn't really work, it was difficult to feel empathy fo Had I read this without knowing it's writer, would more than likely be thinking along the lines of Franz Kafka, where an absurd conceit is established at the outset, but spun in a way making it have the feel of realism. I still wasn't sure when reading for the first time whether to laugh or cry, as it waspreposterously ridiculous, but also humanistically sad. The fact of trying to squeeze the whole life of Benjamin Button into a short story didn't really work, it was difficult to feel empathy for him as you never really get to the heart of who he is, thinking more of his bizarre condition instead, but it's difficult not to. Button is looked at by others as an embarrassing social problem rather than someone who has defied the laws of science, in the hospital after entering the world the doctors would yell "It's perfectly outrageous!", they just want rid of him. As the people around him start to age, Button regains him youth, he becomes wealthy, and takes a younger wife, but would find her less attractive, he just wants to go out and dance the night away... This was a simplistic story told like a kind of conjuring trick, an exercise in forcing the impossible into the mundane, and reading for the second time felt better than the first, I ended up both amused and sorrowful. The most curious thing for me was he went about trying to live an ordinary life, with all the triumphs and miseries that go with it, just in reverse. The film starring Brad Pitt packed far more of an emotional punch for me, especially the ending of Button being nursed as a baby. The imagery of actually seeing someone age backwards was frightful, oddly heartwarming and totally startling on the eye, I wonder what Fitzgerald would have made of it?.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

    In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life. A weird little story, hilarious and melancholic by turns and had great lessons about living your life fully, regardless of your age. It’s a bittersweet story and in a way, a cruel story since Benjamin during all his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The message of the story is that age is more th In 1860 Benjamin Button is born an old man and mysteriously begins aging backward. At the beginning of his life he is withered and worn, but as he continues to grow younger he embraces life. A weird little story, hilarious and melancholic by turns and had great lessons about living your life fully, regardless of your age. It’s a bittersweet story and in a way, a cruel story since Benjamin during all his life is met with contempt and misunderstanding. The message of the story is that age is more than just a number. Not only does it dictate our physical condition, but our personality and character traits as well. Benjamin Button is constantly unhappy and frustrated in his life as he has to pretend he is a chronological age which he does not feel. When he looks old, he wants to sit around and chat with other old men; when young he is happy to sit and play with strips of coloured paper. The book is completely different from the film though. The film is one of my favorites and I would definitely prefer the film over the book but the book is as interesting. Although I didn't like The Great Gatsby as much, I have always praised Fitzgerald's writing. Sparkling and effervescent when it should be, wracked with Benjamin's frustrations and joys in the right spots. There's something so soothing about it. You get sucked in, you are totally immersed into the story. I love authors who can do that. I would recommend this short story to anyone who wants a quick, snapshot reminder of the value of life and it's many quirks.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I think knowing the history behind F. Scott Fitzgerald, really makes this tale more interesting. It has often been said that youth is wasted on the young, this story gives you a new look at that idea.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    The indeed curious case of Benjamin Button, who mysteriously is born an old man in 1860 and then just as mysteriously grows younger. I was surprised by how short this story is, and think that it would have made a great novel. As it is, it’s a weird and entertaining fairy tale with several moments of grand comedy, that however ultimately is a tragic story of a life lived without the chance to fit in. I felt very sorry for poor Benjamin, who is seen as a nuisance, first by his father, and then for s The indeed curious case of Benjamin Button, who mysteriously is born an old man in 1860 and then just as mysteriously grows younger. I was surprised by how short this story is, and think that it would have made a great novel. As it is, it’s a weird and entertaining fairy tale with several moments of grand comedy, that however ultimately is a tragic story of a life lived without the chance to fit in. I felt very sorry for poor Benjamin, who is seen as a nuisance, first by his father, and then for similar reasons later by his own son. Even during the middle part of his life, when his body and mind are in line with his actual age, he’s still struggling. This time with his marriage, as his wife is getting older while he is getting younger. However, not everything is bad, as he was able to enjoy much of the middle part of his life. A fleeting time of happiness. Interesting how much F. Scott Fitzgerald managed to pack into such a short story. I still think it would have worked better in a longer format, and I probably liked the movie (almost three times as long) a little better. But it’s certainly worth four stars. Is there a moral to the story? Not a clear one perhaps. Maybe that growing older is just fine. Growing younger isn’t desirable at all. Certainly not when you are the only one. Maybe the whole thing is about acceptance. Something Benjamin unfortunately didn’t experience.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paula W

    I was surprised by how much I liked this considering my apathy for Gatsby. This was funny, sad, enlightening, and way ahead of its time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    This is a humorous, quirky story about Benjamin Button who is born as a 70 year old, and ages backwards into infancy. It made me think about age and identity. The story also showed the frail condition present in both old age and infancy where people need help from others. As he aged backwards, Benjamin became a peer to his grandfather, his father, his son, and eventually his grandson. The changing relationships between Benjamin and his other male family members, as well as his wife, are a big par This is a humorous, quirky story about Benjamin Button who is born as a 70 year old, and ages backwards into infancy. It made me think about age and identity. The story also showed the frail condition present in both old age and infancy where people need help from others. As he aged backwards, Benjamin became a peer to his grandfather, his father, his son, and eventually his grandson. The changing relationships between Benjamin and his other male family members, as well as his wife, are a big part of the story. The movie centered more on the romantic relationship between Benjamin and his wife.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Avanti Mukhopadhaya

    - A whimsical premise with quick no-frills depiction of age, society and the norms that bind them - It's hard to guess that the movie was based out of this book, if not for the very unique premise. For me, they are both enjoyable in their own places - A whimsical premise with quick no-frills depiction of age, society and the norms that bind them - It's hard to guess that the movie was based out of this book, if not for the very unique premise. For me, they are both enjoyable in their own places

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    The Brad Pitt film is very good but, not as good as the original story. 👍🐯

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    Before I get to reviewing this lovely story, written by ingenious Fitzgerald and published in 1922, let me just say- Hello goodreads, long time to see. How have you all been? Now, that I've said hi and confirmed I'm still alive despite not logging in for a few months, let's talk Benjamin Button. He is an interesting fellow, isn't he? Born an old man, much to everyone's shock, Benjamin starts his life with a bang, you might say. Imagine on top of becoming a father and the responsibility that comes Before I get to reviewing this lovely story, written by ingenious Fitzgerald and published in 1922, let me just say- Hello goodreads, long time to see. How have you all been? Now, that I've said hi and confirmed I'm still alive despite not logging in for a few months, let's talk Benjamin Button. He is an interesting fellow, isn't he? Born an old man, much to everyone's shock, Benjamin starts his life with a bang, you might say. Imagine on top of becoming a father and the responsibility that comes with it, you have to also deal with the fact that your newly born son is an old man who can and will talk to you! I don't think I ever read a similar themed story, although I'm aware that at least a couple of them exist. As far as I know a similar plot appears in Tower of Oblivion, written by a British novelist Oliver Onions and published in 1921, but I'm not certain whether Fitzgerald himself was aware of it. Possibly not, and even if he was that wouldn't necessarily make his story unoriginal. Curiously though, this was the first Fitzgerald's work that I haven't read in original. I actually listened to an Italian audio version of this book. I didn't planned to read it in Italian, but as I was searching for audio books in Italian, this one came up and I thought: why not? I'm no stranger to this writer after all and so far I have always enjoyed his eloquent writing style. Previously I have read the following works of his: 1. The Great Gatsby ( https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) 2. Tender is the Night 3. Diamond As Big As the Ritz (a collection of short stories) Fitzgerald is honestly one of my favourite North American writers for sure. So, you could say that I was expecting this to be good. So, how was it? Well, it's very different from the other Fitzgerald's stories I read, mainly because of its fantastical element. It is also quite different from the movie version, that's for sure. In fact, the only thing that the movie has in common with this work is the concept of reverse aging. The movie is a romantic drama and the book is nothing of sorts! In fact, this story is more about the human drama, i.e. the questioning of our identity. How much are we determined by our years? Does society judge us solely on our looks? By putting stress on father and son relationship, the writer got the chance to examine the connection between age and identity. There is a love story within this story, but it doesn't take central part. There is a marriage, but I have a feeling that this story focuses more on the father-son dynamics than on husband- wife. Reverse aging puts fathers and sons in unusual position. If I'm not mistaken there is more family drama than romance in this one (not that the love story wasn't written well, it just doesn't take central stage). At the same time, it is a very individualist story. It focuses primarily on its protagonist and tells the story from his point of view. As a reader you feel very sympathetic towards him. In addition, there is this feeling of isolation and loneliness hiding in protagonist, even when he does well in life. I would say that this atmosphere is very typical for the literature of that time. Our protagonist finds success at one point, but can success ever last? The film captured nothing of the complex moral dilemmas and the subtle questions this short story managed to present. I'm not saying that it is a bad film but it didn't do much for me. It is actually fascinating how they managed to create such a long film out of such a short story and I can see how some might have really enjoyed the film. However, I prefer the book and regard it as a small masterpiece. Long story short, the film didn't entertain me much. This short story, however, was a pleasure to read. As a classic, it endured the test of time. It's chief theme of reverse aging is a fascinating one. Perhaps the modern preoccupation with aging makes this work more relevant than ever. This story really made me think and on overall it was a fantastic read. I uploaded some new reviews on my blog and here is a link in case you don't feel like waiting until I publish them here: https://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/2...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ayla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a funny start . Here is Benjamin a newborn looking like a full grown 70 year old man stuffed into a bassinet making all the nurses hysterical. This was described as a fairy tale with no explanation of no investigation on how this could have occurred. Benjamin grows up in reverse. Imagine he looks same age as his father, son , and grandson as he ages. In the end Instead of dying an old man with a body to bury, he just fades into nothingness. The story was amusing and entertaining, I will have What a funny start . Here is Benjamin a newborn looking like a full grown 70 year old man stuffed into a bassinet making all the nurses hysterical. This was described as a fairy tale with no explanation of no investigation on how this could have occurred. Benjamin grows up in reverse. Imagine he looks same age as his father, son , and grandson as he ages. In the end Instead of dying an old man with a body to bury, he just fades into nothingness. The story was amusing and entertaining, I will have to see the movie! This audio book also includes 2 other short stories; 'Babylon revisted', and 'The Bridal Party'. Both also very good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    - Jared - ₪ Book Nerd ₪

    The book strikes me as humorous and creative at first. Then it's happy and fun. But then, as it progresses, I find it somewhat melancholy and dark. Of course it ends somewhat tragically, which seems kind of strangely backwards. By the end of the book, I couldn't help but to be left contemplating existence and mortality, which is sort of weird if you're familiar with the plot. Even as everything is backwards, it still feels about the same, from a metaphorical perspective at least. The book makes The book strikes me as humorous and creative at first. Then it's happy and fun. But then, as it progresses, I find it somewhat melancholy and dark. Of course it ends somewhat tragically, which seems kind of strangely backwards. By the end of the book, I couldn't help but to be left contemplating existence and mortality, which is sort of weird if you're familiar with the plot. Even as everything is backwards, it still feels about the same, from a metaphorical perspective at least. The book makes you think a bit differently and I love it for that. Even through to the end, the novelty of its creativity never wanes. Embedded in it, is a confliction of intellect, emotions, and time. This is a classic that you should not skip. I could go on in analyzing the book, but I'll come back to this at a later point I think and write those perspectives down. They will most certainly be spoilers.

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